08 February 2009

Seven More Days...



A week from today, five more work days and seven calendar days, I will be off to to Italia. Driving to Dulles International and departing on a 7:14 p.m. flight to Frankfurt, Germany where I grab a connecting flight to Florence.

On my agenda the first week besides Florence are trips to Sienna and San Gimignano . In Florence I will be staying near the Ponte Vecchio.


The Ponte Vecchio is the oldest and most famous bridge across the Arno, and the bridge as we know it today was built in 1345 by Taddeo Gaddi to replace an earlier version. The characteristic overhanging shops have lined the bridge since at least the 12th century. In the 16th century, it was home to butchers until Cosimo I moved into the Palazzo Pitti across the river. He couldn't stand the stench as he crossed the bridge from on high in the Corridorio Vasariano every day, so he evicted the meat cutters and moved in the classier gold- and silversmiths, tradesmen who occupy the bridge to this day.

The Ponte Vecchio's fame saved it in 1944 from the Nazis, who had orders to blow up all the bridges before retreating out of Florence as Allied forces advanced. They couldn't bring themselves to reduce this span to rubble -- so they blew up the ancient buildings on either end instead to block it off. The Arno flood of 1966 wasn't so discriminating, however, and severely damaged the shops. Apparently, a private night watchman saw the waters rising alarmingly and called many of the goldsmiths at home, who rushed to remove their valuable stock before it was washed away.

I am still in my gathering, sorting and deciding what to and what not to take and knowing of course I have that 50 lb weight restriction to deal with; and, checking the weather daily to determine some of my decisions regarding what to pack.

Have a good week everyone.

See posters here.

28 comments:

Tanya said...

So exciting!!! I just know you're going to have a wonderful trip and I can't wait to hear and see all about it :)

Denise said...

I am so excited for you. You are going to have a fabulous time. Your post was wonderful and informative. I enjoyed it immensely.

My son will be spending his honeymoon there in June.

Bon Voyage!

Thistle Cove Farm said...

You GO Girl! This sounds like a fabulous trip, I wish you safety and tremendous fun.
Upon your return, join us for Sheep Shearing Day, 4 April at Thistle Cove Farm in southwest VA...I'm "sorta" near you -smile-. Found you via a visit at Laughing Orca Ranch.

PJ said...

I'm saving for a trip to Italy, it'll be a while, but I'll make it eventually. Have a wonderful time and take lots of pictures for us.

Susie of Arabia said...

What an exciting trip you are taking! I wish you a safe and joyful journey. I can hardly wait to hear about it when you get back - and to see some pics!!!
Your narrative about the bridge was really interesting.

Liz said...

Mmmm, this sounds fantastic! Be sure and take lots of pictures for us!

Reader Wil said...

Exciting to prepare for a journey, isn't it!? I hope you'll have a great time in Florence. And please take many photos to share with us.

Susan said...

Wow... I'm leaving a week from TOMORROW, from Dulles airport, at about 7pm to go home to Ireland. Odder still, I just posted a blog post about coincidences LOL.

I hope you have a lovely trip and that Germany treats you like a queen! Meanwhile I loved your post today!

SandyCarlson said...

The Ponte Vecchio has my respect. Imagining that it could stop the Nazis by its age and beauty from blowing it up thrills my heart. Too bad they couldn't muster the same feeling for people.

Tom Atkins said...

9 days! I'd be useless. I always am before a trip oversees. Simply beside myself with (positive) anticipation. Enjoy!

Atlântico Azul said...

FLORENCE (Firenze) IS ONE OF MY FAVOURITE CITYIES IN THE WORLD!!!!!!!

Lucky you!!!!!!

Have an excellent stay there and don't forget to drink a glass of red wine for me!
;-)

Love, from sunny Lisbon,
Sailor Girl

Deja Pseu said...

Have a great trip! Italy is high on our list travel destinations.

W. Latane Barton said...

I'm just so envious. A trip to Italy. That sounds like a divine vacation.

ShabbyInTheCity said...

Oh how lucky you are!!! I know I don't have to tell you to take lots of pictures Erin :)
Have a nice time!

mirage2g said...

Cool! Only been to Venice and Lignano but I bet Florence has lots of history to offer too!

becky up the hill said...

Hope you have an amazing time! Do you shop for linen's while in Italy?! Will you be able to post from there, or save it for later. All day, Bon Voyage!

Catherine said...

Have a great trip...Florence is beautiful..

Lew said...

Enjoy your trip. I am looking forward to seeing photos!

chrome3d said...

Sounds like a great trip to me. Happy planning!

Glennis said...

lucky you, so exciting getting ready for a big trip, you have a great time.ipl

Lily Hydrangea said...

I am very excited for you to go to Italy. My family & I have just started thinking about taking a trip there & don't even know where to begin!

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

You must be filled to the brim with excitement!
When my husband was in the Army and we lived in Germany, we went to Italy twice. Once, to ski... and another time on a week-long tour. We were with a group and a guide. It might have been fun with just ourselves, but it was nice to be with someone who knew the area. We saw so much...Florence, Rome, Pompey, Sorrento, Capri; Oh I'm sure there was more...

I know we have photos but they are from the '80s and it's a pain to scan everything. I'd love to go back and take digital/SLR photos!

Hope your trip is safe and a lot of fun!

Sue said...

Thanks for the story and pics of the bridge. Have a wonderful trip!

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

Erin I am green with envy, Italy is my fave country in the world and I have been many times. Roma is fabulous and I hope to take the hubster someday. I will be looking forward to hearing about your trip.

CountryDew said...

Have a great trip!

magiceye said...

happy holidays!!

disa said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.